US Court Dismisses Climate Change Lawsuits Against Top Oil Companies

International Business Times

A California federal court dismissed climate change lawsuits against five oil companies by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland, saying the complaints required foreign and domestic policy decisions that were outside the purview of courts, Chevron Corp said on Monday. The cities of San Francisco and Oakland, California sued Chevron, Exxon Mobil Corp, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, and BP Plc last year, seeking an abatement fund to help the cities address flooding they say is a result of climate change. The dangers raised by the complainants are real and worldwide, and that both parties accepted the science behind global warming, Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said in the ruling. "(However), the problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a District Judge or jury in a public nuisance case," Judge Alsup said. A Shell spokeswoman said the company regards climate change to be a complex problem, which is not an issue for the courts but requires sound government policy.


A judge threw out another climate suit against Big Oil. But the real battles lie ahead.

Mashable

For the second time this summer, a federal judge acknowledged that oil companies are unquestionably responsible for the greenhouse gases amassing in the atmosphere, warming the planet and causing seas to rise. But district court judge John Keenan ultimately ruled that courts aren't a good place to decide whether oil companies are responsible for the environmental damages wrought by the sale of their fossils fuels. On Thursday, Keenan tossed out New York City's lawsuit against Chevron, ExxonMobil, and other oil giants, explaining that "the immense and complicated problem of global warming" requires a global solution -- involving Congress and the president -- because courts aren't equipped to solve such a world-encompassing problem. In the short-term, this could appear as two telling victories for oil companies, who have no interest in being liable for past, current, and future damages inflicted by rising seas, drought, and extreme flooding. But fossil fuel producers are far from absolved.


Big Oil Won a Battle in Court This Week, But The War Is Far From Over

Mother Jones

A protester stands in front of the White House after President Donald Trump's announcement that he was withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accordJeff Malet/ZUMA On Monday, a San Francisco federal judge ruled in favor of Big Oil, throwing out a prominent lawsuit brought by two California cities, Oakland and San Francisco, over the fossil fuel industry's responsibility in dealing with climate change. It was a landmark case, prompting cities across the country to follow suit in an effort to protect their citizens from the growing threat of global warming. As Mother Jones' Amy Thompson wrote in October, the cities hoped to force the companies to pay for sea walls and other municipal projects necessary to combat the effects of a warming planet, which the companies had a hand in causing. In essence, the cities sought damages from climate change, which they claimed was a form of public nuisance. Even though the plaintiffs lost, it wasn't a total missed opportunity for environmentalists.


San Francisco's Climate Case Against Big Oil Gets Dismissed

WIRED

This story originally appeared on Mother Jones and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. On Monday, a San Francisco federal judge ruled in favor of Big Oil, throwing out a prominent lawsuit brought by two California cities, Oakland and San Francisco, over the fossil fuel industry's responsibility in dealing with climate change. It was a landmark case, prompting cities across the country to follow suit in an effort to protect their citizens from the growing threat of global warming. As Mother Jones' Amy Thomson wrote in October, the cities hoped to force the companies to pay for seawalls and other municipal projects necessary to combat the effects of a warming planet, which the companies had a hand in causing. In essence, the cities sought damages from climate change, which they claimed was a form of public nuisance.


Losing Streak Emerges As NYC, Hired Guns Lose Climate Change Case Against Big Oil

Forbes - Tech

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's climate change lawsuit is, so far, unsuccessful, as a federal judge has thrown it out of court. Federal judges continue to reject the efforts of private lawyers who hold a financial stake in lawsuits brought by government officials against the oil industry over the alleged effects of climate change. On Thursday, a New York federal judge dismissed the lawsuit brought by New York City and attorneys at Hagens Berman working on a contingency fee against five of the biggest oil companies in the world, finding that the issue has already been decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. It's not the job of the judiciary to regulate greenhouse gases, Judge John Keenan wrote. That task rests with the federal government, says Keenan's opinion, endorsing the thoughts of the California federal judge who tossed lawsuits from San Francisco and Oakland in June.